Let's Talk About Image Editing & Retouching...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Let's talk about image editing and retouching...


Firstly, one of my many jobs as a creative freelancer is image editing. I mainly work with wedding photos and travel images but have recently noticed the want to change my own personal photos that I take.

I have always been against image re-touching in magazines and mainstream media as it is shared and seen more often than any of my own images or any other images that I edit, so why do I feel the need to alter my images in any way?

Here I will show you a few examples of before and after images that I have edited.


The image above is a completely unedited photo that I took in my room with natural lighting. As you can see, I have many spots, I have a curve in the back of my neck (because I have awful posture) and if you saw a full-length image, you would see that I'm not the slimmest person you've ever met.


Now, the above image is classed as 'image editing' because no re-touching has been done. And if you were wondering, yes there is a difference between image editing and image retouching. Image editing consists of changing the colour, temperature, highlights, shadows etc, etc; no actual body/face alterations in any way. As you can see, I've brought the exposure up, applied a preset (which is a bit like a filter on Instagram), rotated the image a little to make it straighter and have highlighted the edges of the image for a brighter and cleaner background.


Now, this image is a whole new kettle of fish. THIS is image retouching. As you can see, no spots, I've made myself seem slimmer by 'tucking in' my chin and I've even gone to the lengths of taking the small bump out of my nose (which I'm sure I got from somersaulting off my bike down a hill once...). I've even taken out that bump out from the back of my neck.

The two images are very different, but only one is really what I look like. I haven't published the above images anywhere other than this blog post, and I don't think I ever would publish the last image anywhere, not even on Instagram. It's such an altered image, and if anyone I knew saw that, they would know that something was fishy and I would never want to promote such extensive retouching as I know how much it affects users on social media.

The next series of images take the question of image retouching to a similar level, although not as extensive. 


The above image is the raw image taken in my room (with the blinds closed) and is offset with two flash guns with a red and blue coloured gel.


This image is when I have taken the photo into Lightroom and applied the preset, brought out the reds and blues and did some minor adjustments to the exposure and colour. Again, no re-touching in this photo, just basic image editing.


 In the above photo, you can see that miraculously my spots have once again disappeared and my skin seems a lot smoother and even. The only difference between this photo and the end image of the last series of photos is that I have made no physical alterations to my face; I haven't made it seem slimmer, or widened my eyes or anything like that.

In terms of retouching, are any of these 'end result' images acceptable? Should we allow people to retouch their images, especially if it is seen in widespread media? It's an interesting topic and one that I have been thinking about quite a lot recently. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this issue! Leave a comment below and let me know!

American Gods - Neil Gaiman | Book Review

Friday, 27 October 2017

Rating: 4/5


'Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break'


Firstly, the only reason I haven't given this book a 5/5 rating is that it just took me so long to actually finish the darn thing, of which all of the blame I put on myself.

So, American Gods... where to start.

If you're a regular visitor to my blog, you'll know that I absolutely love sci-fi/fantasy anything, so when I saw American Gods on my local bookshop's shelf, I knew it had to be read. I've read a few of Neil Gaiman's books before, but they were all in the children's' or young-adults section of the bookshop, so when I stumbled across American Gods in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, I was intrigued.

American Gods tells the tale of a man named Shadow Moon who has just been released from prison when his wife dies in a car accident (this is honestly no spoiler, it happens a few pages in). His journey in this seemingly new world that he hasn't been a part of for three years sees him meet the mysterious Mr Wednesday, who hires him as an 'errand boy'. From then on we encounter all sorts of gods and deities from all different cultures. I think that's one of the things that I really enjoyed most out of this book; the vast cultural scape that Gaiman covers in regards to Gods.

Another thing that I also really enjoyed was seemingly unnecessary storylines turning into something completely far from what I expected (in the best way possible!). There were a few characters storylines that I thought were going nowhere or felt like they weren't really needed. This was, of course, a huge mistake and I have no idea why I even doubted Gaiman's writing for even a second.; one characters motives/arc I didn't even see coming! It wasn't until Shadow pieced everything together that I even had an inkling as to what was going on.

But one of the things that I took most away from reading American gods was that of the struggle between the old gods and the new ('new' being 'technology' and 'media', etc), which I thought was a very true reflection of what is happening in our world today. We almost worship the screen in our hands and can't bear to be parted with it. Although this book was first published in 2001, it tells a story that is very relevant to how we all live today.

Overall, this was a brilliant book and it certainly took me on an adventure throughout North American and time itself.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 18 as it has some strong sexual scenes, and swearing is on almost every page.

This book would be great for anyone who has enjoyed Gaiman's previous works, and anyone who enjoys a thought-provoking book.

I hope you have enjoyed the review! Let me know what you thought of American Gods in the comments below!

Love, K :)

Witchy Happenings

Friday, 13 October 2017

For so long I have always wanted to do a Witch/Halloween inspired photoshoot/series of images. So the other day I decided to go out with my sister and take some test images to see if we could achieve what we wanted, and I am so pleased with the results!



I had seen a few pins on Pinterest that really sparked my imagination for inspiration for the series, some of which included levitation. This was something I had always wanted to try, and I saw this as my opportunity to really stretch my technical editing side. I can't wait to make more images that have the same sort of spooky, modern day witch vibe. I might base the photo series on the 'Seven Wonders' posed in the American Horror Story series 'Coven'. Seven magical abilities a young witch has to undergo to unveil if she is the Supreme. 



Those seven 'wonders' are, Telekinesis; the ability to manipulate objects with the power of the mind, Concilium; the ability to impose one's will onto another, allowing it to control many parts of the mind (such as actions, thoughts, memories, etc), more commonly known as Coercion and Mind Control, Pyrokinesis; the ability to create, control and manipulate fire with the power of the mind, Divination; the ability to obtain direct knowledge about an object, person, location or physical event through means other than the user's physical senses. This can be activated by just being around a person, focusing on specific tasks, searching for information, and touching objects, Transmutation; the ability to move instantaneously from one location to another without physically occupying the space in between, also known as Teleportation, Vitalum Vitalis; the ability to balance the scales between one life force and another. Witches can transfer their own life force to nearly dead people in order to heal them and can even resurrect the dead. Commonly seen side-effects are fainting and dizziness due to the strain. Can also be used to drain life force as well, and finally, Descensum; the ability to descend into the netherworlds of the afterlife. Witches are able to project themselves directly into hell, which takes the form of their worst fears.


So that's a lot to work with! I really hope to make something out of this as I am really interested where this could take me creatively! Hopefully, you'll see some awesome images very soon, just in time for Halloween!

If anyone would like a tutorial about how I made these images, just let me know and I'll put together another blog post with loads of details.

Love, K :)

#ChopToYourChin | Donating My Hair To The Little Princess Trust

Sunday, 8 October 2017

 Why hello there! It' been a while since I have written a post on here, so I thought why not re-start with something positive! You may have noticed a slight change in my appearance... I decided to chop off most of my hair!


This is now what my hair looks like! I decided to get the chop a few weeks ago at my local hair-dressers as my hair was getting waaay too long!


I also decided that with all of my luscious, long and lovely hair, I would donate it once it had been given the good ole' chip-chop. The hairdressers managed to cut three 13 inch braids off of my hair! I decided to donate it to the lovely Little Princess Trust in which they use the hair to make wigs for children who have cancer and suffer other hair loss related diseases.




I'm so happy that I was able to donate my hair! I initially thought that I couldn't donate it because my hair is dyed blonde at the ends, but it turns out that I could! If you want to donate your hair, have a look at the Little Princess Trust guidelines for hair donation here. It's got all of the requirements for length and condition of hair and useful tips for before and after you have chopped off your hair.

Here is the link to the Little Princess Trust website and also the website for the GHD campaign, #ChopToYourChin!

I hope this has inspired you to take the chop!

Love, K :)

It's Time To Talk - 'Letters To...' Series

Sunday, 23 July 2017

   Once again, it's time to talk...

   I've been somewhat open on here about my mental health of late, but there is still so much to talk about. I honestly really like sharing my thoughts and feeling on a platform where I don't actually have to interact with anyone face to face, as it makes me feel really uncomfortable doing so. Which is why I have decided to start making a 'Letters To...' series. 


If you are unfamiliar with various 'Letters To...' series, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Emily Diana Ruth have both done 'Letters To...' series, Carrie's being 'Letters To Autumn' and Emily's being 'Letters To July'.

I don't intend my 'letter's to be held to one particular month or season. I intend them to be for me, wherever, whenever. They are going to be a place and a time where I can say what I'm feeling and to acknowledge what's happening around me, and hopefully, in turn, will help clear my head and help me make sense of a few things, and hopefully, you guys will enjoy them too.

It'll be a mix of whats happening in my everyday life and possibly a few things that have been on my mind for a while, mixed in with some lovely footage for your eyes to have a gander over! I'm not going to limit myself to a particular number of videos for this series every month so they will be released in 'parts'.

I hope you guys enjoy the series! The first part will be up soon!

Love,  K :)

20 Years Of Magic - Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary

Monday, 26 June 2017

I can't believe it's been 20 years...

Harry Potter has been in my life for as long as I can remember. On the 26th of June 1997, Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone was published in the UK. I would have been 8 months old and little did I or anyone else realise what an impact it would have on my life. The first Harry Potter film I went to see at the cinema was The Prisoner of Azkaban, and it remains to this day my favourite book and film.


I really can't put into words how much the books, films and characters of this fantastic series mean to me. Every time I open the books, it feels like I'm returning home; every page reunites me with old friends and every adventure I get to relive.

Harry Potter has touched so many lives throughout the publications of the books and the releases of the films, and now we have The Cursed child and the Fantastic Beasts films, it truly does show that the magic will always live on.

Bravery, kindness, understanding, hope and most importantly, love. These are all things that the book series have taught me, and it all started with The Philosophers Stone. Harry Potter will always be with me. I will read it to my children, my friend's children and they will read it to their own children. The magic will always live on, within us and within the wonder of the books and films.

Thank-you for 20 years of magic.

Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Love, K :)

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